|Publication number||US6949036 B2|
|Application number||US 09/882,627|
|Publication date||Sep 27, 2005|
|Filing date||Jun 15, 2001|
|Priority date||Nov 7, 2000|
|Also published as||US20020055402, WO2002038231A1, WO2002038231B1|
|Publication number||09882627, 882627, US 6949036 B2, US 6949036B2, US-B2-6949036, US6949036 B2, US6949036B2|
|Inventors||John G. Ciesar, James W. Kendall, Scott A. Massing|
|Original Assignee||Baseball Marketing Ideas, L.L.C.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (29), Referenced by (48), Classifications (11), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a replacement for provisional application Ser. No. 60/246,465 filed Nov. 7, 2000.
This invention relates to a device and system for teaching a person the proper way to swing a baseball bat or the like.
Teaching a person the proper technique for swinging a bat can be a difficult task. It can require years of practice and training with an experienced batting coach to perfect the batter's swing. Proper swing technique encompasses proper hand placement and body movement, optimal bat acceleration, and ample power to hit the ball and is of the utmost importance in playing such sports as baseball or softball.
The present invention relates to a swing trainer for teaching a person the proper technique for swinging a bat in order to achieve maximum bat speed and power at impact with a ball. In particular, the swing trainer teaches the user proper body form for swinging a bat and how to use his or her body most effectively when executing a swing.
Bat trainers and warm-up devices of various kinds have been conventionally proposed and used. One category of devices helps batters learn to “break” or “bend” their wrists prior to contacting the ball. The theory is that breaking a batter's wrist ahead of the arms prior to contacting the ball will cause the ball to travel a greater distance when contact with the bat is made. Early bat trainers utilized weighted rings that fit around the hitting end of a standard bat. As the batter swings the bat, the weighted end helps the batter to break his or her wrist, theoretically improving ball distance. U.S. Pat. No. 3,955,816 builds on this by altering the location and size of the weights. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,555,111 discloses a practice bat that includes a weighted bat head connected to a flexing mid-section. At the beginning of the swing, momentum and the flexing section cause the weighted bat head to lag behind the grip handle. At the end of the swing, momentum and the flexing section cause the weighted end to move ahead of the grip handle. This teaches the batter the proper time to “bend” or “break” the hands and wrists during the swing.
Other devices, such as U.S. Pat. No. 3,246,894, describe a practice bat for visibly recognizing where and when the ball contacts the bat. While the previously described trainers may help batters determine when to move their hands and/or wrists during a swing or to recognize the optimal place a bat should contact the ball, none of the inventions described teaches the batter proper swing technique.
Devices to help improve a batter's swing are available, but these devices typically help the batter to build shoulder and arm muscles used in swinging a bat and improve muscle coordination. Many of these trainers include weights mounted to the shaft of the bat. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,360,209 a batting trainer is disclosed that comprises a handle and a weighted shaft portion attached to a rod extending from the handle. The weighted shaft portion slides away from the grip handle as the batter accelerates the bat during the swing. This device trains the batter to better time acceleration of the bat during the swing by demonstrating the point at which the acceleration of the bat causes the weighted shaft to slide up the rod.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,634,121 discloses a baseball bat swing trainer comprising a baseball bat with a weight that can be mounted at multiple locations on the bat shaft. Changing the position of the weight with respect to the grip handle changes the center of gravity of the bat and alters the effort required by the batter to swing the bat.
Another category of bat swing trainers is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,399,996, which shows a baseball bat with separate barrel and grip handle portions connected by a spring. The spring is positioned so that the batter's hands will grip the bat on opposite sides of the spring. This arrangement teaches the batter to appreciate and achieve a proper acceleration when the bat impacts the ball.
Swing trainers are also available for use in other sports. For example, the Kallassy Swing Magic™, utilizes a conventional golf club with a pre-formed hand grip, receiving receptacle and moveable hood to teach a person how to properly swing a golf club. In use, the user places one hand on the hand grip and the other hand on the moveable hood, while assuming a conventional golf stance. This posture, the hands close together and the club perpendicular to the mid-line of the body, constitutes the resting position. At the beginning of the swing, the user swings the club backwards while moving the hood along the club shaft toward the club head extending the arm. When the user's arm is fully extended, the user begins to swing the club forward, past the starting position, while moving the hood toward the hand grip. As the user completes the follow through of the swing, the user's hands are close together, similar to the resting position. Repetitious use of this club teaches a golfer proper swing technique. Because a golf club swing is different from a baseball bat swing, the Kallassy Swing Magic™ device does not offer any benefit when teaching a person proper baseball bat swinging technique.
The majority of the swing trainers described only help the batter to determine optimal bat acceleration or simply increase bat resistance by increasing the weight of the bat. A batter can increase muscle mass by increasing the weight of the bat he or she must swing, but still have poor swing technique. Further, obtaining optimal bat acceleration can be achieved even if the batter's swing technique is poor. Therefore, none of the training bats described above is capable of teaching a batter proper swing technique.
Thus, an object of this invention is to provide a swing training tool, which teaches the batter proper swing technique and form. The trainer is adaptable to individual batters and allows for differences in body frame, height and strength. Proper swing technique is taught regardless of the unique characteristics and experience of each batter.
Another object of this invention is to teach a batter the location of his or her body in relation to the bat during a swing. The prior art does not teach a batter the proper way to swing the bat head outwardly, away from the body leading with the butt of the bat. Trainers that simply help a batter to break or bend his or her wrists ignore other parts of the body involved in the proper swing technique of a bat. Further, simply swinging weighted bats does not teach the batter the proper placement of the arms, hands, shoulders and torso throughout a swing of the bat. Outward swinging, while keeping the hands and forearms close to the body, causes the batter to use more of his or her body when executing the swing, thereby achieving more bat speed and power. None of the available swing trainers enable the batter to practice and develop this skill.
One object of this invention is to demonstrate intuitively to the batter the proper form and position of the body while swinging a bat. When the batter swings the trainer, he or she can readily feel where the optimal placement of the hands, arms and body should be during and after the swing. Repetitious use of the swing trainer promotes muscle memory for proper swing technique, thus allowing the batter to draw on those memories to utilize proper technique when swinging an actual, non-training bat.
The invention also permits the user to check the results of the trainer. After conducting a series of practice swings using the slide training features of the invention, the user may grip the trainer in a manner similar to a conventional bat and use the trainer to check whether the user has achieved an increase in bat speed and power.
A further object of this invention is to provide a self-teaching training tool that a batter can use alone without the need for an experienced training coach. An inexperienced batter can learn how to swing a bat properly and with the correct technique. Similarly, an experienced batter can use the trainer to improve his or her current swing technique or to increase the power behind an already perfected swing. Further, the trainer can be used in many sports requiring the use of a bat or the like, including but not limited to baseball, softball, cricket and the like.
In general, the swing trainer is a practice bat for use in batting sports to instruct a batter on proper swing technique and form. The trainer is constructed of aluminum or other suitable material and comprises an elongated shaft having a circular cross-section with a grip handle on one end of the shaft and a head on the other end. The shaft preferably has a substantially uniform circumference throughout most of its length. The grip handle resembles that of a conventional baseball bat handle. The shaft and the handle may be composed, for example, of aluminum or a metal alloy. A leather wrap, foam grip or other suitable material covers the handle to give the user a comfortable non-slip surface to hold.
A graspable slide is mounted on the shaft for movement along the shaft between the head and a stop, which is located on the shaft near or adjacent the handle. The slide is covered with a leather wrap, foam grip or other suitable material to match the covering on the handle. The stop can be a one-piece circular member that slides onto the shaft before the handle is attached, or two separate semi-circular portions that are fastened together around the shaft. The stop is made of aluminum or other suitable material. The stop must be mounted on the handle so that will not move or come off during use. A buffer is attached to the end of the slide closest to the handle to prevent pinching of the batter's hand and to provide additional protection against the slide inadvertently leaving the shaft. The buffer is made of plastic, such as nylon or polyethylene, or other suitable material. An upper bumper is preferably attached to the slide to prevent a batter's hands from being pinched between the slide and the bat head. The head serves as a means to prevent the slide from separating from the shaft. The head is generally weighted and can be so constructed as to accommodate different sized weights for interchanging on a single trainer or to accommodate longer shafts. The head is connected to the shaft using an epoxy glue, pin and/or other suitable means. For example, a standard shear, spring or roll method of pinning can be utilized to attach the head, as well as the handle, to the shaft. In an alternative embodiment, the head can be removable and interchangeable with other sized and weighted heads.
The shaft may vary in length and may consist of a hollow tube adapted to receive and hold a variety of weighted rods. Increasing the weight of the rod will increase the resistance experienced by the user, thus increasing the difficulty level of the trainer.
To use the trainer, the user places one hand on the handle of the swing trainer. For a right-handed batter this will be the left hand. The other hand of the user is placed on the slide, which is moved to the top of the shaft in contact with the head. This constitutes the resting or initial position.
At the start of the swing, the batter's hands are spaced apart on the respective grips almost the entire length of the shaft. As the swing progresses, the slide is moved down the shaft toward the handle until it contacts the stop just above the handle. At this point the user's hands will be close together. This movement of the hands during the swing causes the batter to swing the bat head outwardly away from the body while keeping the hands and forearms close to the body. Through repetitious use of the swing trainer, batters will develop muscle memory allowing them to swing a conventional bat more effectively.
As training progresses using the inventive trainer, the user may test his or her progress by placing the slide in its position closest to the handle and gripping the trainer in a manner similar to a conventional bat, i.e., with both hands on the handle. Then, the batter swings the trainer as if it were a conventional bat. During the swing, the slide will move along the shaft from the handle area until it strikes the head. The slide will move up the handle during the swing and strike the head. The sound emitted from this exercise will increase as bat speed and power increases, thereby audibly informing the user of the results of his or her training efforts. As will be appreciated, the invention is applicable to many sports utilizing bats or the like.
In the drawings
A graspable slide 24 is mounted to the shaft 12 and moves along the shaft 12 between the stop 22 and the head 16. The slide 24 may contain first and second buffers 26, 28 on each end and, similar to handle 14, is covered with a leather or fabric wrap, foam grip or other suitable material to accommodate at least one hand. Preferably, the slide 24 and handle 14 have the same diameter and the covering for each is the substantially the same. The buffers 26, 28 can be made of plastic, such as nylon, or other suitable material that is capable of withstanding repetitive impacts. The head 16 is weighted and serves as an upper stop for the slide 24. As shown in
Referring to FIGS. 2,3 and 4, the trainer 10 is shown in greater detail. The shaft 12 includes a hollow core 32, which is adapted to accommodate a weighted rod 34 (FIG. 4). The rod 34 may vary in weight and length depending on the needs and demands of the user and the length of the shaft 12.
The trainer 10 is constructed by securing the first and second buffers 26, 28 to the ends of the slide 24 and then mounting the slide 24 onto the shaft 12. Then, stop 22 is slid onto the shaft 12, followed by the attachment of the handle 14 to one end of the shaft 12. The weighted rod 34 is inserted into the core 32 of the shaft 12 and the shaft 12 is then secured by welding, epoxy glue, a pin 31, or other securing means to the head 16. The end cap 18 is then attached to the handle end of shaft 12, by welding, epoxy glue, a pin, or other suitable means.
As shown in
Assembly of this embodiment is similar to the first embodiment, with a few exceptions (see FIG. 8). The first and second buffers 26, 28 are affixed to the ends of the slide 24, which is then mounted onto the shaft 12. Then, the handle 14 is attached to the shaft 12, the weighted rod 34 is inserted into the shaft 12, and the end cap 18 is attached to the end of shaft 12. With the handle 14 in place, the stop 22 is secured to the shaft 12, as shown in FIG. 8. The stop 22 has first and second halves 46 and 48 that surround the shaft 12. The halves 46 and 48 are secured to each other with screws 50, 52 or other means that securely hold the stop 22 on the shaft 12. As shown in
If desired, the batting trainer of this invention may be made with varying sized handles and grips to accommodate people with varying hand sizes. The head is adapted to receive interchangeable weighted members selected from the group consisting of 12, 16, 20, 26 and 32 ounces. The handle is removable and interchangeable with handles of differing sizes and weights. Various lengths for shafts 12 may also be used, and interchangeable heads 16 and the cap 40 may be made with varying weights to alter the difficulty level of the swing trainer 10.
As the user begins to swing the trainer 10, the slide 24 is moved along the shaft 12 toward the handle 14, as shown in FIG. 5B. This causes the user to swing the bat head 16 outwardly and away from the person's body, while keeping the hands and forearms close to the body. As the user completes the swing (FIG. 5C), the slide 24 is moved further along the shaft 12 until the slide 24 is stopped by the stop 22. Thus, at the completion of the swing, the user's hands 60, 62 are in close proximity, much like on a conventional baseball bat. At this point, the first buffer 26 contacts the stop 22 (FIG. 5C). Using the swing trainer 10 in this way trains the user to swing a conventional bat head outwardly away from the body, while keeping the hands and forearms close to the body, thereby causing the user to use more of his or her body when executing a swing. With repetitive practice swings using the trainer 10, proper form and technique should eventually become sufficiently developed so that the person will duplicate such form and technique when swinging a conventional baseball bat. As the user becomes increasingly proficient using the swing trainer 10, the user can increase the resistance of the trainer 10 by increasing the weight of the rod 40 inside the shaft 12, or both. The handle is removable and interchangeable with handles of differing sizes and weights. As a user's skill and physical requirements change, the size of the handle 14, the length of the shaft 12 or the weight of the bat head 16 can be altered to accommodate the changes.
As the user begins to swing the trainer 10, the slide 24 moves along the shaft 12 toward the head 16, as shown in
The preceding embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative of the invention, and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications may be made without departing from the objects of the invention. These modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims and it is not intended that the invention be otherwise limited.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2091458||Jun 4, 1936||Aug 31, 1937||George A Sleight||Adjustable handgrip|
|US3030837 *||Feb 19, 1960||Apr 24, 1962||Guy N Chartier||Dent-removing hand tool|
|US3116926 *||Apr 16, 1962||Jan 7, 1964||Charles W Owens||Weighted baseball bat|
|US3136546||Aug 25, 1961||Jun 9, 1964||Joseph J Connolly||Swingable practice game implement with slidable weight|
|US3946518 *||Nov 11, 1974||Mar 30, 1976||Ylitalo Howard M||Toy stick amusement device|
|US3955816 *||Mar 11, 1974||May 11, 1976||Bratt Leonard R||Warm-up bat|
|US4017070||Sep 29, 1975||Apr 12, 1977||Hilton H Ronald||Training device for pole vaulters|
|US4317567 *||Sep 26, 1979||Mar 2, 1982||Blake Minden V||Instructional and/or teaching devices for ball games|
|US4377125 *||Jun 15, 1981||Mar 22, 1983||Westfall Leonard J||Swing speed analyzer|
|US4399996||Oct 9, 1980||Aug 23, 1983||Boyce Gary C||Practice bat|
|US4444396 *||Aug 20, 1982||Apr 24, 1984||Wendt William P||Weighted golf swing exercise club|
|US4555111 *||Aug 26, 1983||Nov 26, 1985||Alvarez Manuel R||Practice bat|
|US4634121 *||Aug 8, 1985||Jan 6, 1987||Yuuki Sasaki||Bat swing practice means|
|US4671508 *||Feb 6, 1986||Jun 9, 1987||Tetreault Albert G||Practice bat|
|US4898386 *||Feb 10, 1989||Feb 6, 1990||Anderson Donald A||Training bat|
|US5011145 *||Sep 4, 1987||Apr 30, 1991||Bartkowicz Robert J||Baseball bat with rotary grip|
|US5014984||Mar 30, 1989||May 14, 1991||Joseph Brockhoff||Batting apparatus|
|US5277421 *||Apr 23, 1993||Jan 11, 1994||John Rewolinski||Weighted practice bat|
|US5303917 *||Apr 13, 1992||Apr 19, 1994||Uke Alan K||Bat for baseball or softball|
|US5312308 *||Jun 1, 1993||May 17, 1994||Hamilton James H||Forearm exercise apparatus|
|US5360209 *||May 6, 1993||Nov 1, 1994||Mollica Robert D||Batting training device|
|US5460378||Dec 16, 1994||Oct 24, 1995||Getts; Wayne A.||Golf club counterweight|
|US5577966||Dec 19, 1994||Nov 26, 1996||Duran; Anthony P.||Sport swing training aid|
|US5839983 *||Dec 29, 1995||Nov 24, 1998||Kramer; Robert M. T.||Adjustable grips for a ball bat|
|US6050908 *||May 15, 1998||Apr 18, 2000||Muhlhausen; Harry B.||Training bat|
|US6254498||Nov 10, 1997||Jul 3, 2001||Matthew A. Tyner||Instructional device with adjustable ball-striking sleeve|
|USD339621 *||Feb 10, 1992||Sep 21, 1993||Practice bat|
|USD457929 *||Jun 15, 2001||May 28, 2002||Baseball Marketing Ideas, L.L.C.||Batting swing trainer with movable slide|
|WO1999027493A2||Nov 25, 1998||Jun 3, 1999||Interval Research Corporation||Detection of image correspondence using radial cumulative similarity|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7297078 *||Mar 28, 2006||Nov 20, 2007||Libonati Michael R||Ball sports training aid|
|US7556573||Jun 22, 2007||Jul 7, 2009||Beach Emily J||Field hockey training device|
|US7557286 *||Jul 6, 2007||Jul 7, 2009||Dino J Capotosto||Exercise training device|
|US7682267||Oct 2, 2007||Mar 23, 2010||Libonati Michael R||Ball sports training aid|
|US7794340 *||Jan 23, 2007||Sep 14, 2010||Quickswing, Inc.||Adjustable length training bat|
|US7922595||Oct 6, 2009||Apr 12, 2011||Libonati Michael R||Golf training aid|
|US7935009||Apr 16, 2010||May 3, 2011||Make Ideas, Inc.||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US7993219||Aug 11, 2009||Aug 9, 2011||Swingrite LLC||Bat swing training device|
|US8083619 *||Nov 21, 2003||Dec 27, 2011||Sun Systems, Inc.||Practice bat and method for use|
|US8118693 *||Mar 26, 2010||Feb 21, 2012||Tande Alan B||Practice bat|
|US8167744 *||Apr 3, 2010||May 1, 2012||Daniel Silvain||Swing assist and training device|
|US8414301 *||Dec 23, 2010||Apr 9, 2013||Floyd D. Dean||Adjustable multi-sensory fly casting trainer and teaching method|
|US8435129 *||Apr 27, 2011||May 7, 2013||Christopher J Miller||Apparatus and method to practice golf swing|
|US8517866 *||Aug 18, 2011||Aug 27, 2013||Larry W. Williams||Training bat|
|US8702572 *||Apr 8, 2011||Apr 22, 2014||Christine Chalk||Exercise ring|
|US8827846||Feb 1, 2012||Sep 9, 2014||Christopher Shocklee||System for selecting components of a modular bat|
|US8864608 *||Feb 13, 2012||Oct 21, 2014||HeavySwing, LLC.||Unbalanced weighted apparatus with a heavy end and a light end|
|US9144726||Jun 26, 2013||Sep 29, 2015||Swingrite, Llc.||Bat swing training device|
|US9392768||Aug 31, 2015||Jul 19, 2016||Make Ideas, LLC||Throw and fetch equipment and systems using interchangeable projectile holder elements|
|US9597571||Sep 19, 2014||Mar 21, 2017||HeavySwing Holding, LLC||Unbalanced weighted apparatus with a heavy end and a light end|
|US9700776||Apr 6, 2015||Jul 11, 2017||5 Star, Llc||Handle weighted bat and assembly process|
|US20060025246 *||May 17, 2005||Feb 2, 2006||Forney Jeffrey A||Swing training bat|
|US20060223656 *||Mar 28, 2006||Oct 5, 2006||Libonati Michael R||Ball sports training aid|
|US20070173357 *||Jan 23, 2007||Jul 26, 2007||Donald Mauer||Adjustable Length Training Bat|
|US20070254751 *||Apr 28, 2006||Nov 1, 2007||Wilson Phil B||A Practice Bat|
|US20080202317 *||Jul 6, 2007||Aug 28, 2008||Dino J Capotosto||Exercise training device|
|US20080261729 *||Apr 25, 2008||Oct 23, 2008||Make Ideas, Inc.||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US20080261730 *||Apr 25, 2008||Oct 23, 2008||Make Ideas, Inc.||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US20080261732 *||Apr 17, 2008||Oct 23, 2008||Make Ideas, Inc.||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US20080287272 *||May 19, 2008||Nov 20, 2008||Gerald Luckadue||Exercise apparatus|
|US20080318713 *||Jun 22, 2007||Dec 25, 2008||Beach Emily J||Field hockey training device|
|US20090312125 *||Jun 17, 2008||Dec 17, 2009||Jay & Piney Technologies, Llc||Batting grip and training systems|
|US20090325736 *||Jun 25, 2008||Dec 31, 2009||Daniel Carsello||Training Bat to Develop Proper Hand Positioning|
|US20100041500 *||Aug 11, 2009||Feb 18, 2010||Whitney Charles E||Bat swing training device|
|US20100105495 *||Oct 6, 2009||Apr 29, 2010||Libonati Michael R||Golf training aid|
|US20100197429 *||Apr 16, 2010||Aug 5, 2010||Make Ideas, Inc.||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US20100234144 *||Mar 8, 2010||Sep 16, 2010||Michael Sutlovich||Baseball bat with sliding contact zone|
|US20100234146 *||Mar 16, 2010||Sep 16, 2010||Mullin Keith Alan||System for picking up, tossing, and striking a ball|
|US20100248867 *||Mar 26, 2010||Sep 30, 2010||Tande Alan B||Practice bat|
|US20100263493 *||Mar 19, 2010||Oct 21, 2010||Joseph Savalla||Long handle striking tool and sliding handle|
|US20100267497 *||Apr 3, 2010||Oct 21, 2010||Daniel Silvain||Swing Assist and Training Device|
|US20110034275 *||May 14, 2009||Feb 10, 2011||Hyensoo Kim||Baseball swing training device|
|US20110212423 *||Dec 23, 2010||Sep 1, 2011||Dean Floyd D||Adjustable Multi-Sensory Fly Casting Trainer and Teaching Method|
|US20120046135 *||Aug 18, 2011||Feb 23, 2012||Williams Larry W||Training bat|
|US20120214622 *||Feb 13, 2012||Aug 23, 2012||HeavySwing, LLC.||Unbalanced weighted apparatus with a heavy end and a light end|
|US20120277019 *||Apr 27, 2011||Nov 1, 2012||Miller Christopher J||Apparatus and method to practice golf swing|
|US20140287884 *||Mar 20, 2014||Sep 25, 2014||Icon Health & Fitness, Inc.||Paddle Exercise Apparatus|
|USD784467 *||Nov 11, 2015||Apr 18, 2017||Matthew M. Hess||Baseball bat swing trainer|
|U.S. Classification||473/457, 473/568, 473/564|
|International Classification||A63B69/00, A63B15/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A63B15/005, A63B15/00, A63B2069/0008, A63B69/0002|
|European Classification||A63B15/00, A63B69/00B|
|Jun 15, 2001||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BASEBALL MARKETING IDEAS, L.L.C., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CIESAR, JOHN G.;KENDALL, JAMES W.;MASSING, SCOTT;REEL/FRAME:012203/0020
Effective date: 20010614
|Mar 27, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Mar 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Mar 16, 2017||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12